KG basin row: Govt. hits back at Congress

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New Delhi, April 5 (ANI): Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday criticised the Congress for demanding the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to examine the Gujarat Government’s investment in Krishna Godavari (KG) block project, saying it is a state issue.

“Why is a Joint Parliamentary Committee being asked by the Congress? Do they know that is a state issue? The assembly has to take a view,” Naidu said while interacting with the media at the Indian Women Press Club.

The Congress earlier trained its guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a CAG report that questions the Gujarat Government’s investment in KG block project, saying it ‘exposes the myth of Gujarat model and brand Namo’ while demanding that a JPC probe be ordered into the matter.

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“We have given as to how public money was squandered, the tall claims which were made beginning June 2005 and trillions of cubic feet of Gas worth about Rs. 2,20,000 crores which was never produced and never found. As the Chief Minister (Narendra Modi), he had made publicly that the discovery has been made. He had made tall claims that he and his state will be able to save Rs. 84,000 crore on the Oil Import Bill of the country,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told a press conference.

“He had also said that Gujarat will be the petroleum capital of the country and the Government of India, the then (UPA) government, should hand over this responsibility to him and to five crore Gujaratis,” he added.

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“Let the JPC look into it and nobody has a right to squander Rs. 20,000 crore of public funds and make this false claim which you have seen with your own eyes. We demand a JPC and the Prime Minister can only be probed by JPC,” he further said.

Responding to a poser on whether the Congress will move the court if the government does not permit the formation of a JPC, Sharma said that the grand old party would wait for the ruling dispensation to take the first step.

“We have demanded and let us wait for the response of our Prime Minister and the party which has sworn by CAG all these years and even up till now,” he said.

In 2005, Prime Minister Modi as the Gujarat chief minister had announced that GSPC had struck 20 tcf gas in the KG basin block, named ‘Deendayal block’, where commercial production is yet to start.

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The CAG has also painted a gloomy picture of GSPC’s finances as its borrowing stood at Rs. 19,716 crore as of March 2015, a jump of 177 per cent since 2011. (ANI)

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